Collect for Pentecost 6: Heavenly Father, during His earthly ministry Your Son Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. By the healing medicine of the Word and Sacraments pour into our hearts such love toward You that we may live eternally; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Pentecost 6 – Proper 8
June 25-30, 2018
Prayer for one who is sick: O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need, look with favor upon Your servant(s) [name(s)]. Assure [him/her/them] of Your mercy, deliver [him/her/them] from the temptations of the evil one, and give [him/her/them] patience and comfort in [his/her/their] illness. If it please You, restore [him/her/them] to health, or give [him/her/them] grace to accept this tribulation with courage and hope; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Prayer for one near death: Eternal Father, You alone make the decisions concerning life and death. We ask You to show mercy to Your servant [name], whose death seems imminent. If it be Your gracious will, restore [him/her] and lengthen [his/her] earthly life; but if not, keep [him/her] in [his/her] baptismal grace and in Your abiding care. Give [him/her] a repentant heart, firm faith, and a lively hope. Let not the fear of death cause [him/her] to waver in confidence and trust. At Your chosen time, grant [him/her] a peaceful departure and a joyous entrance into everlasting life with the glorious company of all Your saints; through Jesus Christ, our Savior,
Prayer for the hope of eternal life in Christ: Almighty, everlasting God, Your Son has assured forgiveness of sins and deliverance from eternal death. Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit that our faith in Christ may increase daily and that we may hold fast to the hope that on the Last Day we shall be raised in glory to eternal life; through Jesus Christ,
The Lord Jesus Is Faithful, and in Mercy He Raises You Up from Death to Life
The Lord is faithful. His steadfast love never ceases, and “His mercies never come to an end” (Lam. 3:22–23). To keep in repentance and to make our faith grow, He causes grief for a while, but He does not cast off forever; in due time, “He will have compassion” (Lam. 3:31–33). Therefore, “hope in Him,” and “wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,” for “the Lord is good to those who wait for Him” (Lam. 3:24–26). That is what the woman did “who had a discharge of blood,” and the ruler whose daughter “was at the point of death.” Each waited on the mercy of the Lord Jesus, and each received His saving help (Mark 5:21–28). The woman had suffered much for twelve years, and the ruler’s daughter had already died before Jesus arrived. Yet, at the right time, the woman was immediately “healed of her disease,” and the little girl “got up and began walking around” (Mark 5:29, 42). Such is “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” who humbled Himself, unto the extreme poverty of death, “so that you by His poverty might become rich,” unto life everlasting (2 Cor. 8:9).
Monday, 25 June 2018—Psalm 121:5–8; Antiphon, Psalm 121:1–2—Like yesterdays Psalm of the Day (Psalm 124), this is a Song of Ascents, that pilgrims sang on their way up to Jerusalem. On the journey, they had to go through mountains, or hills. To whom do they—and we—look to keep them safe, not just on the way to Jerusalem, but throughout life? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth…The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life . . . The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Tuesday, 26 June 2018—Psalm 30—This Psalm of David praises the Lord for having preserved his life, granting him healing. When he seemed to be at the brink of death, the Lord restored him to life among those who go down into the pit. More than just physical healing, however, the Lord also granted David spiritual healing: when David, trusting in himself, said, ‘I shall never be moved,’ the adversity made him repent of his pride. As a result of physical and spiritual healing, David proclaims, ‘You have turned for me my mourning into dancing . . . O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!’
Wednesday, 27 June 2018—Lamentations 3:22–33—In the midst of a lament over the fall of Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah extols the mercy of the Lord: His steadfast love never ceases…the Lord is good to those who wait for Him. When the Lord’s chastisement has brought about its intended results, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. This gives comfort to us, too: when we repent of our sins, the Lord is quick to bestow forgiveness upon us.
Thursday, 28 June 2018—2 Corinthians 8:1–9, 13–15—When the Christians in Jerusalem were in distress, the churches in Macedonia, though they were also beset by poverty and affliction, gave beyond their means to support their suffering brethren.
This was not of themselves, but a display of the grace of God that allowed them to give themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Paul then explains also the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
Friday, 29 June 2018—Mark 5:21–43—Jesus demonstrates His great love for those suffering from some of the consequences of the Fall, sickness and death. Out of compassion, he agrees to go to the home of Jairus, whose daughter is near death. On the way, he is sought out by a woman with an issue of blood. Tenderly, He tells her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well.’ At Jairus’ house, He is met with the news that the little girl is dead. Christ Jesus, who will conquer death on the cross, raises her from the dead, showing His power over death and beginning the work of the restoration of creation. This compassion and mercy flows from the great love God has for us.
Saturday, 30 June 2018—The first stanza of Sunday’s hymn of the day, In the Very Midst of Life (LSB 755), dates back to the ninth century. Luther altered it somewhat and added two stanzas. It is one of the foremost hymns we have for the dying. It strongly proclaims that by Jesus’ blood alone we have atonement for sin and, consequently, refuge from sin and peace with God.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas © Higher Things
Lectionary summary on front page from the LCMS Commission on Worship
This week’s Time in the Word is written by Pr. Jeffrey M. Keuning.
Friday, June 22, 2018
Pentecost 5 – Proper 7
June 24, 2018
“The perfect storm – a perfect peace”
Creatures in awe of Jesus' authority over the creation
When the woes of life o'ertake me,
hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
never shall the cross forsake me.
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
“In the Cross of Christ I Glory”
Following a day. Full of teaching activity. Jesus and His disciples. Get into a boat. To sail. Across the Sea of Galilee.
A windstorm arose. Beating waves into the boat. Jesus was sleeping. But He was awakened by His disciples. Concerned for their lives. They feared a great fear.
Jesus rebuked the wind. And calmed the seas. He then reproached His disciples. For their fear. And lack of faith. Filled with great fear. His disciples expressed their awe of Jesus to each other.
This account of Jesus calming the storm is well-known. It’s popular in many children's Bible story books. It is the setting for the hymn, "Jesus Savior Pilot Me." What might we learn from this event in the life of Jesus?
I. WE ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM STORMS
A. WE FACE STORMS BECAUSE WE ARE HUMAN.
Situated in a basin. Surrounded by mountains. The Sea of Galilee was particularly susceptible to sudden, violent storms. Cool air. From the Mediterranean. Drew down through the narrow mountain passes. Clashed with the hot, humid air lying over the lake. The results. Were always terrific storms.
We live in a world where there are many storms. Both literal. And figurative.
Christians experience actual tornados. Hurricanes. Windstorms. Just like everyone else.
Christians likewise face storms such as sickness. Accidents. Disappointments. Death.
Paul certainly experienced the perils of storms and shipwrecks - “Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” - 2Corinthians 11:25-26
Jesus does not promise exemption from the normal storms of life. If you think Jesus is merely a good luck charm. - Stop thinking that way.
"God should fix my problems” some might say. Believing that Christ is some sort of genie. Which I depend on. To make sure. That life goes my way. You are not exempt from storms. Storms happen. Because we are living in a broken world. Outside of Eden.
B. WE FACE STORMS BECAUSE WE ARE CHRISTIANS.
Being Jesus' disciples did not protect them from storms.
Jesus warned that we will experience tribulation as His disciples. The Savior reminds us, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33
Paul suffered for confessing the faith. And warned his fellow disciples; “Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned.” - 2Corinthians 11:24-25
In Acts 14:22 we are reminded; “Strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God."
Paul would remind young Timothy; “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Διωχθήσονται- 2Timothy 3:12 - Persecuted. Yes. But not forsaken. Cast down. Yup. But not destroyed. – 2 Corinthians 4:9
Peter wrote that we should not be surprised by this. “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trials you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” - 1Peter 4:12 – Jesus does not promise exemption from the storms of religious persecution.
So. If you find yourselves in the midst of storms. Whether literal or figurative. Whether it's because you are human. Or because we are Christian. Do not think it strange. Instead. Take heart. Knowing that Jesus is present. Even in the midst of the storm. And He has overcome them all.
II.JESUS HELPS US DEAL WITH STORMS
A. THROUGH FAITH.
During storms. We are often afraid. We can cry out. Like the disciples. Who said, "We are perishing!"
Jesus teaches that fear is indicative of a lack of faith. To overcome fear in storms. We need to grow in faith!
Faith that God will protect us. If it be His will. The Psalmist reminds us. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3
Faith trusts that God will deliver us. To His heavenly city. Even if we die. “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.” - Psalm 46:4-5 The psalmist reveals the role of faith. Even in the midst of storms.
B. THROUGH HIS WORD.
Jesus' words prepare us to withstand the storms of life. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” - Matthew 7:24-27.
Jesus teaches how to pray in order to be heard by God. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. - Matthew 6:5-8
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” - Matthew 6:19-20
“So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” - Matthew 6:31-34 Jesus shares the secrets to standing strong against the storms of life.
C. THROUGH PRAYER.
Jesus is always ready to give mercy and grace to help in time of need; “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” -Hebrews 4:14-16
In anxious times, God offers peace to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus through prayer. Jesus stands ready to calm our hearts and minds when facing storms.
D. THROUGH HIS SACRIFICE.
The greatest "storm" all of us will face will be the Day of Judgment, Peter reminds us, and “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” - 2Peter 3:7
A day in which we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due to him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” - 2Corinthians 5:10
But Christ shed His blood to spare us on that Day. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” - Romans 5:6-10
By believing the gospel, we can have our names added to the Lamb's book of life and escape condemnation for our sins; “Jesus said to them, Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. - cf. Mark 16:15-16 Jesus stands ready to save us and protect us from the "perfect storm" to come.
Everyone will face one or more storms in his or her life. Whether literally or symbolically. Storms will come. Whether atheist or believer. You are not exempt.
How shall we react when the time comes?
Shall we cry out like the disciples who were weak in faith saying, "we are perishing!"? Or shall we weather the storms with confident faith and calm repose?
And how shall we stand on when the final storm comes. The "perfect storm." That is. The Day of Judgment?
Shall we hear Jesus say, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"? Matthew 25:34
Or will we hear Him say, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels"? - Matthew 25:41
When Jesus rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea, "Peace, be still", the wind ceased and there was a great calm. The disciples, with fear and amazement, said: "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"
The wind and the sea obeyed Jesus. Shall we not also trust Him? Who now has all authority in heaven and on earth? - Matthew 28:18
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use.
Passive Sentences –3%
Readability – 84.7%
Reading Level – 3.8
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Proper 7 - Series B
Related Scripture Readings
Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32 (29)
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Prayer of the Day
God of creation, eternal majesty, you preside over land and sea, sunshine and storm. By your strength pilot us, by your power preserve us, by your wisdom instruct us, and by your hand protect us, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
See also Matthew 8:23–9:8 & Luke 8:22-25
Greek Text (NA27)
Jesus Calms a Storm
35Καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ὀψίας γενομένης• διέλθωμεν εἰς τὸ πέραν.
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”
36καὶ ἀφέντες τὸν ὄχλον παραλαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν ὡς ἦν ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ, καὶ ἄλλα πλοῖα ἦν μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ.
And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him.
"As He was" a reference to Jesus' human nature
37καὶ γίνεται λαῖλαψ μεγάλη ἀνέμου καὶ τὰ κύματα ἐπέβαλλεν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, ὥστε ἤδη γεμίζεσθαι τὸ πλοῖον.
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.
γίνεται λαῖλαψ μεγάλη ἀνέμου (ginetai lailaps megale anemou|comes up furious/tempest large/great squall/storm/wind) –
Situated in a basin surrounded by mountains, the Sea of Galilee is particularly susceptible to sudden, violent storms. Cool air from the Mediterranean is drawn down through the narrow mountain passes and clashes with the hot, humid air lying over the lake.
A furious squall...a bad storm...the boat suffers simply because it's there.
38καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἐν τῇ πρύμνῃ ἐπὶ τὸ προσκεφάλαιον καθεύδων. καὶ ἐγείρουσιν αὐτὸν καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ• διδάσκαλε, οὐ μέλει σοι ὅτι ἀπολλύμεθα;
But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
We are being destroyed NOW
He's asleep at the wheel...we're perishing...Jesus included...it matters to you don't you...expecting a positive answer... psalm 107:23-30; Psalm 89:8-9;
39καὶ διεγερθεὶς ἐπετίμησεν τῷ ἀνέμῳ καὶ εἶπεν τῇ θαλάσσῃ• σιώπα, πεφίμωσο. καὶ ἐκόπασεν ὁ ἄνεμος καὶ ἐγένετο γαλήνη μεγάλη.
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
The disciples are made conscious of their frail humanity in the presence of this Lord of the waves. Jesus deepens His communion with the disciples by using His power in the service of compassion for them and by using the event to build up their faith.
διεγερθεὶς (diegertheis|having awakened/woke up)
ἐπετίμησεν (epetimesen|he commanded/gave reproach/rebuked) - In Psalm 106:9 (104:7) Isaiah 50:2; Nahum 1:4 the Hebrew root g'r is used of God rebuking the sea. So Jesus is said to rebuke the wind.
θαλάσσῃ (thalasse|sea) - Not that the lake had any perception, but to show that the power of his voice reached the elements, which were devoid of feeling.
Σιωπα (siopa|be silent/calm/quiet)
πεφίμωσο (pephimoso|be halted/stopped/silenced) - The perfect imperative passive (which is more rare) is more emphatic than the aorist used in 1:25: so 'be silent and remain so.'
γαλήνη (galene|calm) - The aorist tenses indicate an immediate result, and γαληνη μεγαλη (replacing the λαιλαψ μεγαλη of verse 37) emphasizes the total transformation achieved by Jesus' intervention.
40καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• τί δειλοί ἐστε; οὔπω ἔχετε πίστιν;
He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
οὔπω (oupo|so/still like this) - The force of οὐπω here is that they should by this time have learned something of the secret of the kingdom of God (4:11), which is the secret that the kingdom is come in the person and work of Jesus. There are a number of textual variants here arising either from "a desire to soften somewhat Jesus' reproach spoken to his disciples" or from a misreading of οὐπω, replacing it with the more common οὐτω(ς) with various changes of word order to accommodate to the structure of the question.
πίστιν (pistin|trust/faith/belief) - Lack of faith makes disciples δειλοι, unable to respond to a crisis with the confidence in God (or, more pertinently, in Jesus) which is the mark of the true disciple.
Jesus does not explain each wave...yet He weeps with those who weep
Why are you cowards?
They feared a great fear...who is this? See Job...fear as in the First Commandment
There is no better place to be then next to Him asleep in His sleep over death...
41καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἀλλήλους• τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν ὅτι καὶ ὁ ἄνεμος καὶ ἡ θάλασσα ὑπακούει αὐτῷ;
And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
φόβον (phobon|fear) – One greater than their previous fear of the storm (as Jonah 1:10).
ἀλλήλους (allelous|one another)
Τίς ἄρα οὗτός ἐστιν (tis ara houtos estin|who then this is) - In view of what Jesus had just done, the only answer to this rhetorical question was: He is the very Son of God! God’s presence, as well as his power, was demonstrated (Psalm 65:7; 107:25–30; Proverbs 30:4). Mark indicates his answer to this question in the opening line of his Gospel (Mark 1:1). By such miracles Jesus sought to establish and increase the disciples’ faith in his deity.
ὑπακούει (hupakouei|obey/are subject to) - In addition to the miracle's significance as a pointer to the secret of Jesus' person Mark probably saw in it, and meant his readers to see, a symbolic significance (1:31). The parallel between the situation of the disciples on the lake and that of the Church in the midst of persecution would naturally suggest itself. (Very early a ship was a symbol of the Church in Christian art.) In the midst of persecution and all manner of perils, if Jesus be truly with his Church, then, even though his help may not at once be felt, his own must never doubt him, and need have no fear.
Shut up! Be muzzeled! Rude language true, but it's the enemy...even the grave and the jaws of death are shut up for you...He speaks with authority...He Doesn't grab a bucket he goes to the source of the problem...
Faith prays...because it known nothing else...like the infant to her mother
Although miracles are hard for modern man to accept, the NT makes it clear that Jesus is Lord not only over his church but also over all creation. The story is told in simple language, and all the details of the account (other boats, boat was already filling, cushion, said to one another) leave the impression that the details come from one who experienced the event. The account indicates strongly that Mark became Peter’s interpreter. The vivid narrative suggests recollection of an eyewitness. There is a total of ten individual miracles recorded between 4:35 and 8:26, which are frequently seen as constituting two balancing groups, each of which begins with a lake miracle (4:35-41; 6:45-51) and contains a feeding miracle (6:34-44; 8:1-10).
While Mark may have found these two 'catenae' already grouped in the tradition, some believe that the groupings are Mark's own construction. All five stories in the second 'catena' (6:45-51; 7:24-30; 7:32-37; 8:1-10; 8:22-26) take place outside of Galilee, and it has been suggested that Mark thus deliberately shows the mission of Jesus to the Jewish community of Galilee (though 5:1-20 is already set on the Gentile side of the lake) being repeated for the benefit of the surrounding Gentile population. 4:35-41 together with 6:45-52 (the other lake miracle), places Jesus in a more starkly 'supernatural' light even than the healing miracles.
Control of the elements is even more extraordinary and inexplicable than the restoration of suffering human beings, and is in the OT a frequently noted attribute of God in distinction from human beings who find themselves helpless before the forces of nature (Job 38:8-11; Psalms 65:5-8; 89:8-9; 107:23-32, etc.; the last of these must surely have been on Mark's mind as he narrated this story). Here is divine power writ large, and it is appropriate that these two pericopes therefore conclude not only with the astonishment and fear of the disciple, but also with a note of their human inability to cope with the new dimension of understanding and faith which these events demanded (4:40-41; 6:52).
The christological question, 'Who is this?' which has already been raised by previous miracles (1:27; 2:7-12; 3:11-12) becomes more insistent and more sharply defined in verse 41. The variation in tenses throughout this pericope makes an interesting study in Mark's narrative style. Historical presents form the main framework of the first part of the story (λεγει ... παραλαμβανουσιν ... γινεται ...ἐγειρουσιν ... λεγουσιν), but they are interspersed with imperfects to indicate the continuing features of the situation (ἠν ... ἐπεβαλλεν ... ἠν).
But when the climax is reached, the narrative goes consistently into the aorist, to indicate Jesus' decisive action (ἐπετιμησεν ... εἰπεν ... ἐκοπασεν ... ἐγενετο ... εἰπεν), after which the disciples' immediate reaction of fear is described in the aorist (ἐθοβηθησαν), followed by an imperfect to denote their continuing discussion of what it all meant (ἐλεγον). The tenses are far from haphazard; rather, they demonstrate the natural ability of the storyteller to focus his audience's attention appropriately on the different aspects of the story as it develops.
image Schnorr von Carolsfeld Woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use
The Word of Christ Bestows Peace on His Creation through His Forgiveness of Sins
Pentecost 5 – Proper 7
Collect for Peace: O God, from whom come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works, give to us, Your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey Your commandments and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness;
Prayer for Peace: Almighty and everlasting God, King of Glory, and Lord of heaven and earth, by whose Spirit all things are governed, by whose providence all things are ordered, the God of peace and the author of all concord, grant us, we implore You, Your heavenly peace and concord that we may serve You in true fear, to the praise and glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Prayer for one suffering from anxiety, apprehension, or fear: O most loving Father, You want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing You, and to lay all our cares on You, knowing that You care for us. Strengthen [name] in [his/her] faith in You. Grant that the fears and anxieties of this mortal life may not separate [him/her] from Your love shown to us in Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
Prayer at the close of the day: Abide with us, Lord, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. Abide with us and with Your whole Church. Abide with us at the end of the day, at the end of our life, at the end of the world. Abide with us with Your grace and goodness, with Your holy Word ad Sacrament, with Your strength and blessing. Abide with us when the night of affliction and temptation comes upon us, the night of fear and despair, the night when death draws near. Abide with us and with all the faithful, now and forever.
Collect for Pentecost 4: Almighty God, in Your mercy guide the course of this world so that Your Church may joyfully serve You in godly peace and quietness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
In his anguish and affliction, Job must be reminded that, as a finite creature, he is in no position to question the Maker of the heavens and the earth. Job’s “words without knowledge” are unable to penetrate the wisdom of the Lord (Job 38:1–2). For the Lord has “prescribed limits” and “set bars and doors,” so that “here shall your proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:9–11).That’s how He humbles us unto repentance. But also by His powerful Word He calms the “great windstorm” and the waves “breaking into the boat.” He does not permit the chaos of this fallen world to overwhelm us or bring us to despair. By the Word of His Gospel, He speaks “Peace” to us, which bestows the “great calm” of His New Creation (Mark 4:37–39). Therefore, do not be afraid, and do not receive this grace of God in vain. “Now is the favorable time,” and “now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:1–2).
Monday, 18 June 2018—Psalm 107:29–32; Antiphon, Psalm 107:28—This psalm recounts many of the things that the LORD has done for His people, and exhorts them to praise Him for them. In the section appointed for Sunday’s Introit, the LORD is given praise for manifesting His might by delivering His people from the storms of nature. This sets the theme for the day, where all the readings point to the authority of the Creator over His creation, and His continuing governance.
Tuesday, 19 June 2018—Psalm 124—This Song of Ascents, that pilgrims sang on their way up to Jerusalem, praises the Lord for His deliverance of His people from catastrophes of nature. Twice, it is sung, If the Lord had not been on our side…Those who sing the psalm recognize that their only hope of salvation is in the Lord. We echo this in the daily offices, such as Matins and Vespers, and when we confess our sins in the Divine Service, when we repeat verse eight: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Wednesday, 20 June 2018—Job 38:1–11—At the end of the book of Job, God answers Job, who has demanded the opportunity to interrogate Him for the calamities which have befallen Job. God answers with an interrogation of His own: Who is Job to question the Creator of all things? The Lord, who laid the foundation of the earth and determined its measurements, who prescribed limits for the sea, knows what He is doing. How can the creature second-guess the Creator?
Thursday, 21 June 2018—2 Corinthians 6:1–13—In Sunday’s epistle reading, St Paul speaks of his experiences as Christ’s Ambassador of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20). He tells of these things not to boast, but because what people see in the messenger affects the credibility of the message.
In verse 6, he speaks of the reason he was able to withstand these hardships and still bring forth the fruits of righteousness: it is solely the work of God, especially the Holy Spirit. God, the Creator of all things, is also able to create the New Man, who lives before God in righteousness and purity,
Friday, 22 June 2018—Mark 4:35–41—Terrified by a storm which came upon them quickly on the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were powerless to escape it or overcome it. Jesus, however, through whom all things were created (John 1:3), is able to calm the seas by the command of His voice. After all, He is God, who brought all things into existence by speaking, ‘Let there be…’ (Genesis 1)
Saturday, 23 June 2018—Sunday’s hymn of the day, Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me (LSB 715), uses the imagery of a stormy sea to represent the trials and tribulations which are part of our lives as long as we live in this fallen, sinful world. But Jesus is able to still those seas, as He did the Sea of Galilee, and bring comfort to us. True comfort can come only through Jesus, for He is our Salvation.
Pr. Jeffrey M. Keuning, wrote this week’s “Time in the Word”. He serves St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Casey, and Zion Lutheran Church, Dexter, Iowa
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
Artwork by Ed Riojas © WELS for personal and congregational use
Lectionary summary on front page from the LCMS Commission on Worship
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Pentecost 4 – Proper 6
June 17, 2018
To Live is to Grow
When we stop growing. We stop living. When we stop developing physically, mentally and spiritually. A decline begins. Until death is reached.
Life means growth. Both in this world. And the next. Today Jesus teaches that the kingdom of God is growing. We do not know how it grows. When we are tempted to think the kingdom has lost its influence and power. Jesus offers this profound assurance. From Christ’s perspective. The kingdom is slowly and surely growing. You can’t see it? That’s the point! The Kingdom grows secretly.
Christian people need to be encouraged to ever have a growing edge. To be reassured. That the kingdom is in the process of coming upon the earth. The Parable of the Growing Seed is a parable of Jesus. Which appears only in Mark. The Parable of the seed growing secretly. Is a parable about growth in the Kingdom of God. Today we consider Jesus’ words. As He teaches us concerning the Kingdom.
I. The miracle of growth – v.27 - Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. (Mark 4:27)
A. Even when the farmer sleeps. The Kingdom of God is still growing. Its growth is due to God. Not man. And follows its own timetable. The seed of the kingdom grows. While the farmer sleeps. The farmer only sows and reaps. Nothing in between. The sower does not cultivate nor irrigate. The seed does its own growing.
Illustration: Anyone who has read to their children or grandchildren, “Frog and Toad together” knows this. You can sing to your corn. Talk gently to your soy beans. I can play Brahms' Lullaby to my eggplant all day long. It won’t make them grow.
B. The point Jesus is making. - You can do nothing to bring the kingdom of God on earth. You cannot force God’s Kingdom coming by good works. Social programs. Or legislation. This is solely, completely, and totally The Father’s work. – This is exclusively God’s effort.
II. The manner of growth – V. 28 – “All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.” (Mark 4:28)
Illustration: Just a few weeks ago. As I set out to plant the garden. I happened to find a package of seeds which read, “Tomatoes” and “Experimental.” How long had I had them? At least fifteen years. Maybe longer. No harm in planting them. Why not? Sure enough! They sprouted. And they continue to grow. Notice what the Savior says. “All by itself the soil produces grain…”
A. The kingdom of God has a growth from the smallest seed to the greatest shrub. There is a contrast between the beginning and the ending of the kingdom. The minimum becomes the maximum. The kingdom will continue to grow until it covers the entire earth.
B. The kingdom had a tiny start. Jesus and twelve men. When it ends some day. When the whole number of persons in this world will be added to the kingdom. Then. And only then. Will the end come. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:13-14) Here is hope and optimism for Christians living in these challenging times. And these difficult days. It is the Father’s world. He alone brings about growth. He alone sustains His kingdom. He alone guards and keeps it.
III. The maturation of growth – v. 29 –“As soon as the grain is ripe; he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:29)
A. One of the great miracles of nature is the power of life in a seed. Put a seed in the ground. Water it. And in a short time. The seed sprouts with new life. God’s Word. Jesus said. Is like seed sown into the hearts of Christian believers just like you. When this seed is received in faith. It has power to produce new life. As you hear to this Word today. The power of the Word of God is working its work in your life.
1. The Word planted into your heart is power to bring you to faith. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – (Hebrews 4:12)
2. The Word planted into your heart is power to grow a harvest of good works in your life. And we continually thank God that in receiving the word of God from us, you did not accept it as the word of men, but as the true word of God. And this is the word which is now at work in you who believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. (1 Peter 1:23)
B. The farmer plants in order to reap a harvest. The Father sows His seed in His people to get a harvest. Christianity is not a religion for religion’s sake. It is not an academic adventure. Into theological discussions. Or far-out mysticism. Christianity is a very practical religion. Though we are not saved by our works. Our faith. If it is genuine. Produces fruit. A harvest is gathered. The good and bad are separated and people receive either good or evil. Says the Lord Jesus, Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and caught fish of every kind. When it was full, the men pulled it ashore. Then they sat down and sorted the good fish into containers, but threw the bad away. So will it be at the end of the age: The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous. (Matthew 13:47-49)
Jesus in these parables is speaking about the Kingdom of God – Not any worldly kingdom. It is not a kingdom that can be seen. It is not one that has a geographical local domain. The Kingdom of God is the people of God who live under the reign of the Father. We call this kingdom the Church. Which is the Communion of the saints. It is invisible to us. And it subjects are known only to God.
Growth comes as the Father permits it. Growth comes as the Spirit gives life. Growth comes as the Lord continues to support and sustain His Kingdom. Thanks be to God. Who has promised both to will and to do His good pleasure to those who seek Him.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Proper 6 - Series B
Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15 (12)
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 [11-13] 14-17
17 June. 2018 - Pentecost 4
Prayer of the Day
God, you are the tree of life, offering shelter to all the world. Graft us into yourself and nurture our growth, that we may bear your truth and love to those in need, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Greek Text (NA27)
The Parable of the Seed Growing in Secret- Vv. 26-29
Note Only Mark records this parable.
Whereas the parable of the sower stresses the importance of proper soil for the growth of seed and the success of the harvest, here the mysterious power of the seed itself is emphasized. The gospel message contains its own power.
Some see this parable chiefly as a parable of contrast. As seedtime is followed in due time by harvest, so will the present hiddenness and ambiguousness of the kingdom of God be succeeded by its glorious manifestation. This parable conveys both a warning and a word of encouragement to Jesus’ disciples. However important their role may be (21–25), they are not to imagine that the Kingdom is their kingdom or its triumph their triumph;the Kingdom remains God’s mysteriously creative work. He is “Lord of the harvest” (Mark 9:38). This serves for encouragement also; however slow and unspectacular the “progress” of the Kingdom may be, the outcome is in the sure hands of the Creator. Men may pray, “Thy kingdom come,” with patience and confidence.
26Καὶ ἔλεγεν, Οὕτωςἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦθεοῦὡςἄνθρωπος βάλῃτὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆςγῆς
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.
27καὶ καθεύδῃ καὶ ἐγείρηται νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν, καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ καὶ μηκύνηται ὡςοὐκοἶδεν αὐτός.
He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.
οἶδεν (oiden|knows/understands) –
At first there may be little to show for the sowing of the seed, and a skeptical observer might think that nothing is happening. But there is an inner dynamic in the message which will in due time produce its effect, even if human insight cannot fathom how the process works (ὡςοὐκοἶδεν αὐτός). In the meantime the wise disciple will wait in confidence for God's work to be accomplished in God's way. The kingdom of God, then, does not depend on human effort to achieve it, and human insight will not be able to explain it.
28αὐτομάτη ἡ γῆ καρποφορεῖ, πρῶτονχόρτον, εἶτα στάχυν, εἶτα πλήρη[ς] σῖτονἐντῷστάχυϊ.
The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
29ὅταν δὲ παραδοῖ ὁ καρπός, εὐθὺς ἀποστέλλειτὸδρέπανον, ὅτι παρέστηκεν ὁ θερισμός.
But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
The Parable of the Mustard Seed 30-34
The main point of this parable is that the kingdom of God seemingly had insignificant beginnings. It was introduced by the despised and rejected Jesus and his 12 unimpressive disciples. But a day will come when its true greatness and power will be seen by the entire world. See also Matthew 13:31–33; Luke 13:18-f. This is another parable of contrasts, but the contrast may not be, as is sometimes thought, between the Church's insignificant beginnings and the wide spread, powerful organization it was to become: it is rather between the present veiled-ness of the Kingdom of God and its future glorious manifestation at the Parousia.
30Καὶ ἔλεγεν, Πῶςὁμοιωσωμεντὴν βασιλείαν τοῦθεοῦ, ἢ ἐντίνι αὐτὴνπαραβολῇθῶμεν;
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?
31ὡς κόκκῳσινάπεως, ὃςὅταν σπαρῇ ἐπὶ τῆςγῆς, μικρότερονὂν πάντωντῶν σπερμάτωντῶν ἐπὶ τῆςγῆς,
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth,
32καὶ ὅταν σπαρῇ, ἀναβαίνει καὶ γίνεται μεῖζον πάντωντῶν λαχάνων καὶ ποιεῖκλάδουςμεγάλους, ὥστεδύνασθαι ὑπὸ τὴνσκιὰν αὐτοῦτὰ πετεινὰτοῦοὐρανοῦ κατασκηνοῦν.
yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
κατασκηνοῦν (kataskenoun|to nest/live/dwell) – See also Ezekiel 17:23; 31:6; Daniel 4:12,14,21. When at last he comes in his glory, who is himself the Kingdom (1:15), he will be not only the Judge of all men, but also the one under whose shadow all who have truly trusted in him will find shelter. Drawing attention to these same OT texts and particularly to 'all great nations' in Ezekiel 31:6, the allusion here may be intended to indicate the future wide scope of the kingdom of God, within which many nations (not only Israel) will find their place. Of this and the parable of the growth of the kingdom in verses 26-29, the two parables of verses 26-32 thus both warn against underestimating the significance of the proclamation of the kingdom of God, however unimpressive its initial impact may seem. What has begun in the Galilean ministry of Jesus will, by the power of God, one day prove to be of ultimate significance. If for the time being its power is hidden, it is not for that reason any less certain, and its growth will be spectacular.
33Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς ἐλάλει αὐτοῖςτὸνλόγον, καθωςἠδύναντο ἀκούειν·
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.
34χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆςοὐκἐλάλει αὐτοῖς, κατ• ἰδίαν δὲτοῖςἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα.
He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
χωρὶςδὲ παραβολῆςοὐκἐλάλει αὐτοῖς - (choris de parabolesoukelaleiautois|apart but from parables not he was speaking)
- Jesus used parables to illustrate truths, stimulate thinking and awaken spiritual perception. The people in general were not ready for the full truth of the gospel. When alone with his disciples Jesus taught more specifically, but even they usually needed to have things explained.